Home Brew: 2100 Kettner

Home Brew: 2100 Kettner

By Andrea Siedsma

Today’s green and sustainable office buildings go beyond just reducing energy and water usage; they also provide desirable places for talented workers to mix work with play while reflecting a community’s roots and vibe. 

One example is 2100 Kettner, the latest development to hit downtown San Diego’s Little Italy’s skyline. The six-story carbon-neutral building – situated on a full block in Little Italy – promises to have both a positive environmental and social impact, as well as pay tribute to the beloved Little Italy, which was originally a predominantly Italian and Portuguese fishing neighborhood in the 1920s.

Below we take a closer look at this distinctive project, as well as a sneak peek at a planned sustainable-themed party and groundbreaking event that pays homage to downtown San Diego’s storied fishing industry and the region’s sustainability movement.  

The Deets: 2100 Kettner, slated for completion in 2021, will consist of 209,000 feet of flexible Class A office space, six street-level restaurant or retail areas, 267 parking spaces and a 10,688-square-foot rooftop deck, as well as multiple terraces that tenants can enjoy. Building materials will include brick, metal siding, exposed concrete and timber in order to blend into the surrounding neighborhood.  A 2,000 square-foot courtyard along Kettner Boulevard is meant to provide a recessed entry to the retail space. A lifestyle fitness studio is also planned, along with an inviting open air staircase and numerous outward-facing balconies.

The planned retail & restaurant space at 2100 Kettner is expected to further active the streetfront.

Sustainable Development: 2100 Kettner was designed by Gensler Architects and will have green roof areas, a solar array, an all-electric core, and efficient water, heating and cooling systems to reduce carbon emissions. 

The building’s developer, Los Angeles-based Kilroy Realty, said it is committed to sustainability to improve tenant satisfaction, reduce operating costs, and make the building more resilient to future environmental and energy changes.

“Focused on human-centered design and an environmentally conscious infrastructure, 2100 Kettner is targeted for LEED Platinum certification and will undoubtedly raise the bar on San Diego’s sustainable real estate climate,” said Nelson Ackerly, VP of Kilroy, San Diego. “The six-story low-rise is also being designed by Gensler Architects to deliver an artful vision for Little Italy’s future workforce. Alongside green roof areas and an expansive solar array, the property will employ various water efficiency measures, an all-electric core and shell, and a Variable Refrigerant Volume HVAC system to significantly reduce carbon emissions.”

Kilroy plans to help further fuel the sustainable movement in San Diego. In fact, the company believes that the real estate industry is well suited to take a leadership role in creating sustainable environments that combat climate change. According to Kilroy’s Senior VP of Sustainability, Sara Neff, “Buildings, which account for 30%-to-40% of CO2 emissions (that’s more than the auto industry), have one of the greatest carbon footprints, yet the voice of championing the cause for environmental stewardship has not historically been that of the commercial real estate industry.”

2100 Kettner, which takes up an entire block, is targeted for LEED Platinum certification.

Under Neff’s direction, Kilroy is focused on bringing real estate sustainability to the world stage. At the Global Action Summit, the company became the first North American real estate owner to publicly commit to establishing 100% carbon neutral operations by the end of 2020. Kilroy’s development pipeline is pushing the envelope on sustainable environments, with all properties built to LEED Platinum or Gold standards. 

Looking ahead, Kilroy will become the first real estate company in North America and the largest company in the world to achieve this, establishing 100% carbon neutral operations by the end of 2020.

Ackerly added that Kilroy feels a moral responsibility to create properties that reduce their impact on environmental degradation. “With a ‘rising tide lifts all boats’ mentality, Kilroy hopes to attract world-class talent to our innovative projects and encourage other green developers and architects to create more possibilities for a sustainable built future in San Diego.”

Fête & Feast: Speaking of sustainability, Kilroy plans a big bash to not only kick off 2100 Kettner’s groundbreaking but to also celebrate downtown San Diego’s rich fishing heritage and provide eco-friendly education to the public. 

The 2100 Kettner Fête & Feast, slated for February 6 in Little Italy, will blend hands-on education with top local chefs (Travis Swikard, Davin Waite, Brad Wise, Kelli Crosson, Brian Malarkey, Andrew Bachelier, Jason McLeod, Rachel King, and more) and education from marine scientists to reduce one’s carbon footprint through seafood sustainability. All proceeds from the event will be donated to local nonprofit San Diego Fishermen’s Working Group.

The walk around-style chef’s tasting will feature innovative dishes using sustainably sourced seafood from local fishing families of Tuna Harbor Dockside Market. Chefs will work with the world-class marine scientists of NOAA Fisheries Science Center to provide educational resources about the importance of sustainability within maritime industries. The event will also feature live music and entertainment, preview opportunities of 2100 Kettner’s high-tech office building, and include a variety of interactive activities. 

A plethora of Fishing boats used to occupy San Diego Harbor. Photo Courtesy: SD Fishermen Working Group.

The event will also pay tribute to San Diego’s rich fishing history. San Diego, once known as the tuna capital of the world, had every major cannery, including Bumble Bee, based here. The industry once employed over 4,000 people, the city’s third-largest employer behind the Navy and aerospace.

“The cross-industry ocean-to-table event brings together the biggest names in San Diego’s sustainable seafood movement while paying homage to Little Italy’s past (a fishing capital of the US), present (a booming hub for hospitality), and sustainably built future,”  Ackerly said. 

“We were inspired by the fishing industry’s cross-collaborative model. Collectively, this talent pool of marine scientists, chefs, and fishermen informs the long-term vision for sustainable management of our ocean resources,” he added.

The American Union Fish Company in San Diego, circa 1920. Photo Courtesy: SD Fishermen Working Group

Cool Factor:  2100 Kettner, also designed to attract pedestrians, is adjacent to trendy eatery Herb & Wood and sits across the street from the luxury AV8 apartment building.

The innovative office building will also include an urban “living room” feel with flexible outdoor work spaces and inspiring lounge areas. Inspired by both the history of the Little Italy neighborhood and its creative, energetic community, 2100 Kettner’s design reflects a symbiotic mix of materials and experiences, bridged together by an inviting open air staircase and numerous outward-facing balconies.

Downtown Attraction: The Little Italy office building is real estate investment firm Kilroy’s first office project downtown. Kilroy, which is also developing the $600 million-plus One Paseo mixed-use project in Carmel Valley, has other office buildings across the Pacific Northwest, Southern California as well as the Bay Area, which have amassed a tenant roster of tech and media industry giants such as Dropbox, Netflix, Adobe, Salesforce, SurveyMonkey, and LinkedIn. According to Ackerly, Kilroy aims to attract a like-minded set of innovative tenants  to 2100 Kettner who can positively contribute to the city’s economic growth. 

A rendering of a terrace highlights the types of amenities Kilroy will use to attract tech and media tenants. (Courtesy/Kilroy Realty)

As for Little Italy?  Ackerly said it’s the place to be.

“Little Italy is the bee’s knees, if I can use that expression in an office space. Most of the new construction in Little Italy has been apartment and condominium projects. It’s hard enough to find land to build an office building, much less compete with all the residential. But Kilroy figures all those people living in the new apartments and condominiums could use a place to work, and the tech companies – that we’re looking to attract as tenants – will be drawn to the talent.”

“Downtown, Little Italy in particular, has a lot of college-educated employees, and most commute to jobs in UTC or elsewhere. San Diego needs residential, but this area of downtown needs new office space,” he said, adding that there is a lot of interest from different categories of tenants for 2100 Kettner, such as tech and some professional service firms.

Nelson Ackerly

Beyond the Cubicle:  Ackerly believes that having a unique and sustainable building in the heart of a hot spot like Little Italy will help attract forward-thinking workers, including the next generation, whose passion for sustainability has transformed green design into a critical factor in attracting and engaging top talent.

“Kilroy’s painstaking attention to detail maximizes opportunities for creativity and collaboration. (Founder) John Kilroy understands that the future of workplace design is dependent on flexibility and sustainability,” he said. “So what do Kilroy’s A-list tenants like Netflix, Dropbox, and Salesforce look for in office space? Buildings that are designed to adapt to the ways society and the environment will inevitably change. That requires more than simple open-plan layouts and cool amenities. The most impactful workspaces will consider the wants and needs of its workforce. They’ll prioritize smart paths of circulation to help people connect with each other and nature. To stand in a competitive market, workplaces have to think beyond productivity.”

Editor’s Note: Home Brew is original content created by Fresh Brewed Tech that showcases the cool and creative spaces that San Diego’s innovative companies call home. This is where the magic happens. 

Andrea Siedsma

Andrea Siedsma

I've had a flair for tech, science and business writing for more than 25 years. Surfing keeps my creative juices flowing. I also get an adrenaline rush by hunting for sea glass. Flip flops and fish tacos are my jam. Drop me a line at andrea@freshbrewedtech.com.

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